U.S. energy demand for heating is expected to be lower than normal this week because of warmer weather, according to forecasts.
The U.S. heating degree days value through March 10 may reach 127, or 24 below normal and 12 lower than last year, according to a weekly forecast by the national Climate Prediction Center in Camp Springs, Maryland.
Across the East, 10 to 30 percent less energy will be needed for heating from March 6 to March 12, said David Salmon, owner of Weather Derivatives, in Belton, Missouri.
Traders watch temperature predictions and heating degree days values to gauge energy use and demand. About 51 percent of U.S. households use natural gas for heating, according to the Energy Department.
Temperatures across the central U.S. into the Northeast, including New York and Chicago, are expected to be 5 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit (2.7 to 3.8 Celsius) above normal, MDA EarthSat Weather said in a forecast for March 5 to March 9.
Southern Canada, northern New England and upstate New York are expected to average 3 to 4 degrees above normal, said MDA in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Florida is forecast to be seasonal.
The degree days values are calculated by subtracting the daily average temperature from a base of 65 degrees to show energy demand. Higher values mean cooler weather and more energy being used to heat homes and businesses.
The gas-weighted value for the week is expected to be 138, or 25 below normal, the climate center said. The value adjusted for heating oil may be 179, or 26 lower than normal, while the electric heat-weighted value may be 95, 18 below normal.
Warm weather across the U.S. is expected to build through the month, according to Matt Rogers, president of the Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland.
Average temperatures from Montana to Massachusetts are expected to be 8 degrees higher than normal from March 10 to March 14, Rogers said in a note to clients.
Average temperatures are expected to be 15 degrees above normal from the Midwest through the Ohio Valley to the Northeast by March 15 to March 19, Rogers said.
“We find a more consistent pattern view this morning with the models showing good agreement on the big warming scenario for the 6- to 15-day in the Midwest, East and even a bit more in the South,” Rogers said.
The average normal temperature for New York for March 14 is 42 degrees, according to MDA. It is 38 in Boston, 38 in Chicago, 58 in Dallas, 46 in St. Louis, 46 in Seattle and 58 in Burbank, California.